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How Some States Are Stalling Pension

Several years after the PRA 2014 was introduced, many state governments are yet to implement it, thereby creating problems for their retired employees
The adage that rest is sweet after labour may after all not hold for employees of most state and local governments.
The adage holds sway only for employees who have got their retirement planned for them by their employers during their service.
Unfortunately for employees of most states and local governments, this plan is alien to their managers.
The woes of the state and local governments’employees started with the lacuna in the Pension Reform Act (PRA) 2004 that left them without pension laws.
According to the Director, Centre for Pension Rights Advocacy, Ivor Takor, in a paper entitled: “State governments and the pension rights of their employees”, the exclusion was not an oversight by the First National Assembly Committee on Pension, that carried out the reform but a ploy by governors during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration to avoid paying pension.
Shedding light on the issue, he explained that employees of state and local governments were initially covered in the Executive Bill sent by the President to the National Assembly.
He said on reaching the National Assembly, some governors mobilised representatives of their states in both chambers of the National Assembly to remove employees of state and local governments from the Bill before it was passed into law.
Their reason, he said, was that the country was under civil rule; therefore, there must be the practice of true federalism, which does not allow the National Assembly to make laws for the states on an issue, such as pension, that does not fall in the exclusive legislative list of the constitution.
Takor categorised the 36 states of the Federation as follows: flagship, hibernating states and those that have adopted Contributory Defined Benefits Schemes (CDBS) and the red flag states.
He explained that the flagship states have adopted the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) and are fully complying with their laws; hibernating states have stopped at enacting laws while the most dangerous ones; the red flag states don’t intend to do anything about pension laws.
He added that some states have adopted CDBs. He listed the red flag states as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Borno, Cross River, Katsina, Kwara, Plateau and Yobe.
On the other hand, he listed the flagship states as Kaduna, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ondo. Edo, Lagos, Ekiti, Delta and Osun.
He said hibernating states have laws but not are fully compliant. They include Kebbi, Anambra, Rivers, Benue, Nasarawa, Sokoto, Ogun, Oyo, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Taraba, Bayelsa, Adamawa, Kogi and Niger while the states that adopted CDBs are Jigawa, Kano, Gombe and Zamfara.

This article was originally published in The Nation

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